With Feeling

So what if the beautiful ones always sit in the first row, where the lights strike their hair and jewels the brightest? So what if their fathers have paid for the places they occupy, with little regard for how much it costs others? They post Selfies with captions like “Thing is, I don’t give a shit.” The potted trees in the atrium are equally beautiful for having no memory of origins. They breathe in the temperature-controlled air but do not bend their branches. A little boy pees in the terra cotta basin, unable to keep it in any longer. Outside, a storm begins its orchestral arrangements: tympani and brass; winds. But night’s darkest tuxedo is the mother of all corporations. I want to tell the guard who ushers out the errant boy and his crestfallen parent, You are mistaken. It is holy to feel the visceral coursing through you, unstoppable like wind or water. If you ever opened your mouth to the rain, perhaps you might understand how a string stretched as if near breaking gives off that depth of sound. Think of it like stars rushing through the roof. Think of the solitude of the lonely, the destitute, the ailing. Then try to play it again: the kind of music that trembles the skin, escapes the strictures of syntax.

 

In response to Via Negativa: My Dream About Playing the Guitar.

1 Comment


  1. Thanks for this – I was born in Holyoke MA, on the wrong side of the tracks from Smith College. For me this poem evokes the feeling I sometimes get, even today at 60, when I go to a poetry read at that college.

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